Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Origins of Hatikvah~How An Anthem Was Born

Most of us are familiar with the Israeli National Anthem~Hatikvah (The Hope). Not many know (or even think of) its origins. One Israeli, classical musician Astrith Baltsan, did think about it, and for her it became an eight year quest to track the origins and sources of Israel's National Anthem. When her research was complete, she decided to share her findings via a book and a concert~lecture. In the clip below she explains that the two hundred page book (which includes two CD's with three hours of music) was produced by the Ministry of Education and is used for the matriculation exams in Israel. It is also used at the officers schools in the IDF. 

There are those who like classical music and then there are others~each to his own, as they say. Perhaps, there can also be a blending of tastes. Many musicians over the years have tried to bring the genres together. Singers like tenor Mario Lanza crossed into popular music and movies, and to this day has a following. The incomparable Luciano Pavarotti and his appeal to wider audiences came to attention with "The Three Tenors". Pavarotti went on  to make amazing music with rock and pop stars such as Let it Rain with Jon Bon Jovi, the ballad Live Like Horses with Elton John, and the beautiful Baby Can I Hold You Tonight with Tracy Chapman. (Follow the Links~You May Like It!)
Back to the Israeli musical world and the phenomenal, Astrith Baltsan. She has developed an imaginative story-telling style for her chamber music lecture-concerts, Classica be-meimad ishi (Classics from a Personal Viewpoint).

Using a combination of music, imagery and story-telling, Astrith is able to explain, enlighten and entertain with musical history and facts. Her unique entertainment style has filled concert halls with a new type of audience, who have laughed, cried, learned, and gained an appreciation for the classical side of music. Astrith Baltsan's "concert~lecture" series has become the largest classical chamber music series in Israel, and she takes her concerts around the world to the delight of all. 

Hatikvah is one of five programs that Astrith created with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Zubin Mehta, and televised by Herzliyyah Studios for the Israeli Education Channel (2000–2002).
Below, you can listen as Astrith tells of her investigation into Israel's National Anthem (Hatikvah), and the discovery of the history behind it. You will also get a glimpse of the personality of Astrith Baltan, and just a hint of her amazing talent.

* At the bottom of this post are the words to Hatikva~for those who are not familiar with them...Enjoy!

Astrith Baltsan Explains How She Came to Investigate and Reveal Hatikva's Origins


Excerpts From Astrith Baltsan's Concert on The Origins of  Israel's National Anthem

Kol od balevav p'nimah כל עוד בלבב פנימה
Nefesh Yehudi homiyahנפש יהודי הומיה
Ulfa'atey mizrach kadimahולפאתי מזרח קדימה
Ayin l'tzion tzofiyahעין לציון צופיה
Od lo avdah tikvatenuעוד לא אבדה תקותנו
Hatikvah bat shnot alpayimהתקוה בת שנות אלפים
L'hiyot am chofshi b'artzenuלהיות עם חופשי בארצנו
Eretz Tzion v'Yerushalayimארץ ציון וירושלים

 Israel Information Directory
Hatikva (The Hope)
As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew yearns,
And forward to the East
To Zion, an eye looks
Our hope will not be lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

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